NewsPublic Affairs / June 12, 2017

Sen. Donnelly Visits VA Center, Talks Mental Health

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says significant progress has been made on suicide hotline services for veterans in Indiana. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly visited the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis Monday and met with veterans and doctors. He says the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to address systemic shortcomings at the local and national level.

Donnelly says when he visited Roudebush last year, suicide hotline services could not handle the volume of calls coming in, and veterans would often get transferred to a national center.

But he says significant progress has been made.

“We have now doubled the facilities that we have, and the ability to pick up calls,” Donnelly says.

The visit comes one month after the senator questioned the hospital about a report showing nearly $1 million in lost equipment.

Hospital director Brian Hancock says much of that equipment was actually on site, but appeared to be missing because of defective technology.

“We do everything we can, and will continue to do everything we can, to eliminate any option for something to become misplaced. We’re very serious about that.”

Hancock says the facility is looking into alternatives, but didn’t give specifics.

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